QuiQ-HighEfficiencyGridFriendlyBatteryCharger | Battery Charger | Electric Vehicle

QuiQ - High-Efficiency Grid-Friendly Battery Charger

Rob Cameron, P.Eng., CTO Delta-Q Technologies Corp. Unit 3 – 5250 Grimmer Street, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5H 2H2 phone (604)-327-8244 fax (604)-327-8246

Abstract
While high-frequency power conversion has been adopted in other industries, the industrial and specialty vehicle industry generally still uses lowefficiency, line-frequency based battery chargers because of bottom-line cost concerns. Some similar priced high-frequency chargers have recently appeared with offer better efficiency but have poor power factor that results in higher utility charges and potential premise wiring problems. At a small cost premium, Delta-Q has developed a highly efficient unity-power factor charger that minimizes the amount of power drawn. The user enjoys real cost savings as CO2 emissions are reduced and extra power capacity is realized.

weight, poor efficiency and the resultant nonsealed enclosure have limited their use to indoor or off-board applications. Because of the sensitivity to input voltage, many models are required to service the wide range of line voltages and frequencies found around the world. Advances in power electronics have allowed highfrequency (“HF”) chargers to be created that, if properly designed, can eliminate these problems at a small cost premium. As a result, many other industries have already switched from low frequency to high frequency power conversion. For the EV market, several HF chargers have recently appeared which eliminate some of these problems but which unfortunately create some new ones, specifically with the high distortion they generate back onto the AC line. This paper investigates how charger efficiency and power factor affect the total power losses and costs incurred with typical FR and HF chargers.

Keywords: AC-DC, Battery, Charger, Cost,

Efficiency, Electric Vehicle, On-board, Power, Regulation, Sealed

1. Introduction
While the on-road Electric Vehicle (EV) market is presently in its infancy, the off-road and specialty EV market is a mature one and is made up of millions of vehicles such as golf cars, aerial access platforms, and sweeper/scrubbers. A battery charger is an essential element of all battery powered EVs and large fleet applications can represent a significant load to utilities and cost to the user in their daily charging requirements. However, product cost is a main purchase criterion for the OEM’s who build the vehicles, and consequently low-cost low-frequency ferroresonant (FR) chargers are commonly used. While cost has been reduced to the bare minimum and some improvements have been made with output voltage regulation, these chargers use essentially the same technology as they did over thirty years ago. However, basic problems such as size,

2. Power Factor Basics
Power factor (PF) is an important measure of how well the charger uses the utility power. In mathematical terms, it is the measure of ratio of ‘real’ power (Watts) to ‘apparent’ power (Volts · Amps or VA).

pf =

Po η Pr = Pa Vrms ⋅ I rms

(1)

Perfect power factor (also called ‘unity’ power factor since the ratio is equal to 1.00) means that all of the input apparent power (Vrms • I rms), except for the factor lost in the charger’s power conversion efficiency itself (ç), is delivered out to the batteries (Po). If the charger’s input current waveform is distorted and deviates from the sinusoidal voltage waveform in time (displacement) or in shape (harmonic distortion or

The resultant charger’s efficiency is an industry leading 90% and not only directly reduces energy cost but also the lower heat generated allows the charger to be sealed and used in outdoor on-board EV applications. these losses may be more than double the losses incurred for equipment with good power factor [1]. While PF is worst at the terminals of a load. For example. otherwise severe overloading will occur. Only real or average power (Pr) is useful for charging batteries–distortion from a low power factor means that a higher Irms current has to flow in the system wiring to keep the real charging power Po the same. With the emergence of new low power factor loads (e.8pf phase lag distortion) 10.4Arms (0.g.33Arms (no distortion) 10. harmonic currents almost triple the copper and eddy transformer losses and double the branch wiring losses. Correcting power factor at the source– simply choosing loads with inherently good power factor has been shown to offer the greatest improvement in energy savings [1].4Arms (0. present competitive HF chargers) or excessive current ripple on the output (e.8pf harmonic distortion) 25 20 15 10 Amps 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 360 The utility companies may also apply an additional cost factor related to poor PF. 250 200 150 100 50 Volts 0 -50 -100 -150 -200 -250 0 90 180 270 Phase (degrees) 120Vrms 8. At 100% THD. as shown in Figure 1. Capacity is then either wasted in the electrical distribution system and higher power costs are incurred or the problem can be resolved with harmonic mitigation measures.g. Equation 1 shows that a lower efficiency ç also results in higher Irms currents and consequently higher power bills for a given output charging power Po. and accurate new electronic meters. it is significantly reduced (typically <10% THD) by the time it reaches the service meter when filtered through the premise’s wiring and transformer and then diluted by other linear type loads [3].80 PF Distortion. FR chargers) that may be detrimental to newer sealed battery technologies. Most of the power lost is primarily from the step-down transformer and secondarily from the premise branch wiring. a surcharge is applied in the Province of British Columbia for PF < 0. Chargers that do not have this PFC stage will suffer from either extremely poor power factor (e.g. there is a trend for power utilities to measure and bill non-residential users for power factor. the power factor is reduced. typical of a non-PFC HF charger. A THD of 10% is equivalent to a PF of 0. . Not only will energy costs increase but the transformer must also be oversized by more than a factor of two. 1KW 3. Cost Factors Higher Irms current results in significant power losses within a premise wiring system. In fact. An additional benefit of this stage is a wide input voltage range which can be used anywhere in the world. The second power stage efficiently converts the PFC DC output to the required battery pack voltage with full galvanic isolation for safety. Figure 1 – Examples of 0. The first stage is an active Power Factor Correction (PFC) stage that continuously controls the input AC current to match the sinusoidal input voltage in both shape and phase. computer AC-DC power supplies. adjustable speed drives).995 as found by the following equation [4]: pf THD = 1 1 + (THD I / 100 ) 2 (2) Unless the chargers are a large part of the overall power used. QuiQ™ high frequency technology uses a two-stage power conversion approach that is highly optimized for efficiency. competitive pressures as power generation and distribution are privatized. a power factor surcharge would likely not be applied.THD).9 [2].

Wise selection of a charger with high power factor saves energy and reduces over sizing of the building wiring system or alternatively releases additional capacity.4% 0% 0% As is shown. H72=High Frequency Competitor) Total Transmission Losses 100' 12AWG + Xfmr (W) sold and used in shops. the manufacturer must self-declare compliance to EN61000-3-2 and to all other applicable EN61000 standards.1% 15% 11% 72. PF Regulations There are many regulations that a charger must meet for worldwide usage. replacement with QuiQ™ chargers would save enough energy to power 10.25Vpc (W) Potential circuit capacity increase Total Power Consumed (W) 8 Current (A) 6 4 2 0 Q48V H72V Harmonics L48V EN61000-3-2 Limits Charger Input Power (VA) Charger Power Loss (W) Q48V L48V Q72V H72V 1.g.00 0. garages. This translates into up to 15% net power cost savings and up to 32% greater circuit capacity. L48=Low Frequency Competitor. Based on a conservative estimate of 700. 12 10 Charger Output Power @ 2. Besides ensuring that the charger can be used safely without causing a hazard to the user or to the equipment around it (e. Good power factor is also important for achieving CE compliance. To achieve a CE marking (which allows the battery chargers to be 5.95 1. 4. it must not exceed any harmonic limit shown in Figure 2.25Vpc (average output voltage during bulk phase of charge cycle).00 0. Conclusion Power factor and charger efficiency are significant contributors to the operating cost of EV battery chargers. the Delta-Q QuiQ™ charger has about half the total power losses as the other competitive chargers while actually delivering 10% more power to the batteries. Reduction in Power Bill Charger Efficiency (%) Total Losses (W) Total Efficiency Charger pf Figure 2 .74 and fails EN61000-3-2 limits by a large amount. the QuiQ™ charger input harmonics fall far below the maximum limits for all data points with a unity power factor. Table 1: Comparative Charger Power Usage Charger (Q48V/Q72V=Delta-Q.74 1098 983 115 1215 886 269 1116 1005 111 1468 893 194 90% 56 77% 66 90% 58 82% 113 171 335 169 307 1154 1221 1174 1199 85.000 homes or result in a reduction of 85.Charger Current Harmonics vs. .000 electric vehicles with a 2kWh daily usage.6% 13% 32% 74. The charger’s output voltages were standardized at a nominal 2.000 tons of CO2 [5]. Competitive HF charger ‘H72V’ has a power factor of 0. Europe requires all electrical equipment that connects to public low-voltage distribution systems to meet EN61000-3-2. allowing EV manufacturers to ease the task of selling chargers into Europe. For a battery charger of 600W or more.Table 1 compares the power factors and efficiencies found with commercially available 1KW 48V/72V chargers and the subsequent power losses and costs. EN61000-3-2 has been in effect since January 1. 2001 and specifies the maximum harmonics that a charger may inject back into the utility. and light industry in the European Community). While there is presently no North American regulatory requirement for power factor. EN61000-3-2 Limits As can be seen. UL1564 or EN60335-2-29). regulations also limit how the charger can draw power from the power utility.5% 0% 0% 85.

[2] BC Hydro. “Costs and Benefits of Harmonic Current Reduction for SwitchMode Power Supplies in a Commercial Office Building” in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Applications. Key and Jih-Sheng Lai. No. Gilleskie. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia in 1986. he has been involved in hardware design. “Harmonics and How They Relate To Power Factor” in Proceedings of the EPRI Power Quality Issues & Opportunities Conference. . 1992. is the Chief Technical Officer for Delta-Q Technologies Corp. and is responsible for the technical evolution of DeltaQ’s power conversion products. Author Rob Cameron./Oct.5. He is currently named on four patents. Mack Grady and Robert J. November 1993. [5] The Cadmus Group. 1996.. 1998. “Regional Electricity Emission Factors Final Report”. Vol. “Guides to Energy Management – Power Factor”. IEEE Standard 1100. [4] W. Rob enjoys playing volleyball whenever he can.Eng. project and engineering management for several high technology companies.References [1] Thomas S. 32. Sep. October 1999 [3] “Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding Sensitive Electronic Equipment”. P.

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